The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
In October 2010 the National Congress passed a law recognizing the Evangelical Confederation of Honduras as a legally recognized church, making it the second officially recognized church in the country, alongside the Catholic Church. Other government-recognized religious organizations were classified as religious associations but not as churches and did not have the rights and privileges of churches, such as state recognition of weddings performed by the member churches of the confederation and tax exemption for the salaries of church officials. By law only the legislature has the authority to confer the status of a legally recognized church. The constitution provides the executive branch power to grant juridical personality to associations, including religious organizations, which provides for tax exemptions and waivers of customs duty.
Associations seeking juridical personality are required to submit an application to the Secretariat of State of Interior and Population describing their internal organization, bylaws, and goals. In the case of evangelical churches, the application then is referred to a group from the Evangelical Confederation of Honduras for review. This group may suggest, but not require, changes. All religious applications are also referred to the Office of the Solicitor General for a legal opinion that all elements meet constitutional requirements. Applications require presidential signature. The government does not require religious groups to register.
The constitution stipulates only laypersons may seek election to Congress.
The government requires foreign missionaries to obtain entry and residence permits. A local institution or individual must sponsor a missionary’s application for residency, which is submitted to the Secretariat of State of Interior and Population.
The Law of Social Harmony prohibits the immigration of foreign missionaries who practiced religions claiming to use witchcraft or satanic rituals and allows deportation of foreigners who practiced witchcraft or “religious fraud.”
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Christmas.